“Where is your POTS?” she asked me with a confused yet curious look on her face. Innocently waiting for an answer, she looked at my body trying to find this elusive POTS. I held back my laughter and began to describe what was different about my body. I explained how my body cannot do what is automatic for most people. For example, when she stands up her body compensates and the blood vessels constrict in her legs sending blood to her heart and brain, while my body does not. I showed her my purple feet and said, “that is called blood pooling”. She looked down at her feet to see if she could see any of this happening. I showed her my compression hose which she had been eying all evening and explained how they work as a substitute by compressing my legs and pushing the blood back up so that my heart and brain can receive the blood it needs to function. That may seem like alot of detail for a nine-year old to take in, but she genuinely wanted to see POTS.
Let’s be honest, who doesn’t want to see it? By looking at me many days, you cannot see my sickness. We learn tricks to hide the symptoms. Self tanner, makeup, meds to suppress the tremors and dizziness. Other times, it cannot be covered up by layers of concealer or medication. Most of those days are spent in bed where no one can see the suffering. I have found 90% of the people I have met with POTS do not want others to see the struggle because of how difficult it is to describe their ever- changing illness. But, this question posed by a nine-year old child made me ponder a deeper meaning. Something that we all struggle with at times and often no one knows because it cannot be seen by the naked eye.
“Where is your POTS?” metaphorically speaking? Where is the invisible pain and suffering in your life? Where are you silently struggling alone because you don’t want to face the judgement of others. Maybe the opinions of others is not where your fear resides, but rather within yourself. Allowing those issues to be brought to the surface would mean acceptance on your end. Those neatly covered spaces hidden even from yourself would be exposed, and you could no longer live in denial. Emotional pain, addictions, bitterness, hatred, etc. can all cause internal paralysis. They will stop you in your tracks if allowed. You may be wondering why you cannot move forward in your life and it could be because you have never faced where you are right now. Your deepest hurts can be the catalysts to your greatest victories but you have to be willing to take the journey. It is never easy to be vulnerable. I remember starting this blog less than a year ago and I waited four months before ever posting anything. I felt as though I was exposing my very soul in writing. But the more I allowed myself to be transparent, the more I realized my own fears and insecurities had paralyzed me. I allowed those voices to silence parts of myself that were created by God. This morning I read this verse and how timely it is…
“For my part, I am going to boast about nothing but the Cross of our Master Jesus Christ. Because of that Cross, I have been crucified in relation to the world, set free from the stifling atmosphere of pleasing others and fitting into the little patterns that they dictate. Can’t you see the central issue in all this? It is not what you and I do…It is what God is doing, and He is creating something totally new, a free life!” Galatians 6:14-15
Live free my friends! Don’t be weighed down by the world’s expectations. Don’t let the opinions of others dictate who you are or what you say. Be who God created you to be and drop those expectations that entangle you and drag you down. Hold onto His promises and allow Him to bring those vulnerable, hidden spaces in your life to light for His glory. He will guide and protect your every step. Remember, it is not what you and I do, but what God is doing within you.